Injury Bug Bites Early

Don't be so soffff

Maybe he won't be sofffff when he comes back?

Last season the Pens had injuries issues with Crosby, Fleury and others being out for long periods of time. Now the Pens are suffering already as there is an injury before the season even starts.

Ryan Whitney’s critics have considerably less ammunition today.

Turns out, the defenseman skated on one healthy foot last season.

Whitney, whose point total dropped from 59 in 2006-07 to 40 last season, underwent surgery to correct a left-foot misalignment Friday in Charlotte. Full recovery from the procedure, an osteotomy, usually takes three to five months.

I went from thinking Whits had a completely terrible, disappointing season to an amazing one last year. He pretty much played hockey on one foot and it never seemed to bother him.

Even though we all like to pick on Whitney, this does suck. I was actually looking forward to Whits having a rebound season this year and redeeming himself. Now he could be out up till five months with three being the minimum. Whits is a good puck mover and does bring a good bit of offense to his game. Plus he has chemistry and experience with this club so it isn’t like Whits is the chop liver Pens fan make him out to be. This loss is bigger than I think most Pens fans think it will be.

Though I do question on why Whits didn’t get the surgery done right after the season ended instead of waiting one month before the season starts. You’d think that Shero and Therrien would be pushing him to have the surgery as soon as last season ended so that he’d come back sooner. He could’ve had it right after the Game 6 loss to the Wings and only be out for a month or two of the season. Now he’ll miss a few months, then try jump right into the thick of things in the middle of the season hoping he hasn’t fallen far behind everyone else.

Don’t expect Whits to be 100% comfortably healthy till possibly the 09-10 season either. Most of the time with these foot injuries players don’t have the power and strength in the foot for a while. Give him a full offseason’s rest next year and he’ll 100% then, not right after the foot injury is healed up. Unfortunately though Whits will still be feeling the effects of this injury throughout the 08-09 campaign.

But hey, there’s always a silver-lining. Whits injury means that Pootie Tang will be moved up and Eaton is pretty much guaranteed to start in the top 4. Add that Gogo (Alex Goligoski) probably has a better chance to make the team after training camp and give him more experience in the big leagues. I’d rather have Whits starting opening night but hey, if we can get more younger guys gaining expierence off of this, I won’t complain.




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